Lavington’s pellet plant is providing evidence of being a good environmental neighbour.
McCall Environmental was hired to conduct air emission testing on the dryers and stacks at Pinnacle Pellet Plant, which took place Nov. 11 and 12, 2015.
“We’ve reduced emissions by 83.1 per cent,” said Leroy Reitsma, Pinnacle president.
Test results show the combined emissions of the pellet plant and Tolko planer mill is .75 grams/second. That represents 16.9 per cent of the previously permitted emissions of the planer mill.
“It’s a huge improvement to the local air shed,” said Reitsma.
“We hope that this sets the community at ease.”
Particulate matter has been a major source of resident concerns, with fear that the new plant would only exacerbate the issue.
“They think that there’s particulate matter in it (steam coming from stacks) and that’s why we test,” said Reitsma.
The results show that all sources are operating well below permitted levels, which were set at the highest standards in the province for new pellet plants. The guideline for dryers is 50, while Pinnacle applied for a permit of 15 and tests show they are operating at less than half that, 6.81. The other stacks must be under the provincial guideline of 115, but were only permitted to be 15 and are actually much lower at 4.91 and 2.5.
“I just hope that people can understand the results and they can see that we’re well below the promised levels,” said Reitsma.
The findings have been presented to Coldstream council and the full report is available online at www.pinnaclepellet.com/pdfs/PP_pdf_Tolko-Q4-CF13-Stack-Test.pdf
It’s a “good news story” for the community, says Trevor Seibel, Coldstream’s chief administrative officer.
“The total emissions now between Tolko and Pinnacle are significantly lower,” said Seibel.
The testing, which was done by an independent third party, will continue annually with additional testing taking place on the dryers every three months for the next three quarters.
Pinnacle has also taken steps to reduce the level of noise from the plant and believes its efforts are working.
“I have not been hearing from the neighbours,” said Reitsma.
Production at the plant is going well, with the first two months exceeding plans. The plant produced 370 metric tonnes of wood pellets per day in October (it budgeted for 318) and 575 in November (exceeding the 388 budget). The target is to reach 700.